Community Workshops

Breaking Silence, Building Connection

Sexual abuse and intimate partner violence are epidemics that cut across all gender, racial, economic, and cultural lines. As the kink world consists of people, it stands to reason that these issues are in our backyard as well. For kinksters, abuse is a particularly thorny subject, as there are empowering and healthy dynamics that seem abusive to the outside observer.

In this class, we will drill down to the fundamentals of human connection as they relate to kink and power exchange relationships.
We will challenge the common narratives and turn preconceived notions about abuse inside out. We will also will explore how abuse can manifest, how communities and individuals can respond to abuse, and how to promote a culture of transparency and healing.

Participants will leave empowered to be ambassadors of dialogue and change within their communities.

Troubleshooting Kink: Now with Less Drama!

In kink, as in life, things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes an unexpected trigger or limit flares up, a signal is misinterpreted, or there is some kind of communication fail. These situations are sometimes hard to anticipate, and can shake a person to the very core.

As hard and scary as a scene gone wrong can feel, it does not have to end in further explosions or hurt feelings! With the right kind of repair work, it is even possible to build deeper connections and lasting healing for everyone involved.

Regardless of whether you have a long term partner, engage in pick up play, or some combination of the two, this class will help you build the skills you need to problem solve and prevent future SNAFUs.

Kink and Mental Health Roundtable

Join Samantha in a roundtable discussion on some of the unspoken issues that affect our kink communities. Depending on participants’ interests, this discussion will either provide a space to further process ways to address abuse within our community, or tackle the very real issues of understanding and coping with mental health issues within the context of kink.

Moving Beyond the Stoplight

(Co-taught with Kamela Dolinova) Most of us know, at least intellectually, the importance of communicating limits and establishing ongoing consent. But even for seasoned players, limits can be hard to define, and consent can be tricky to navigate. Limits may vary from partner to partner. A submissive may not want to “wimp out” in a public play space or let her master down. A rope bottom may worry that by pointing out the pinching in his armpit, he’ll stop an otherwise hot scene. Edge players, experimenting with pushing limits, may have a hard time knowing when things are really “okay,” and when they are causing themselves or a partner harm. Negotiations and safewords, in short, are frequently not enough.

This class looks at ways to address those times when limits come in shades of gray. We will talk about how both bottoms and tops can facilitate communication that is not only clear, but also keeps the energy flowing between play partners. We will also practice listening to the messages our own and our partners’ bodies are conveying, to get a better understanding of what is pushing a limit safely, and what is crossing a boundary.

Practical exercises in navigating personal space, touch, self-monitoring, eye contact, and creative communication will help you connect to your body’s innate wisdom, so your scenes – and in-scene relationships – can be healthier, happier, and hotter.

For Educators and Mental Health Professionals

The Sound Relationship Dungeon: Healthy Kink, Abusive Kink, and Addressing Abusive Dynamics in BDSM

Sexual abuse and intimate partner violence are epidemics that cut across all gender, racial, economic, and cultural lines. For individuals who identify with kink and BDSM (Dondage, Dominance, Sadism, Masochism), abuse is a particularly thorny subject, as there are empowering and healthy dynamics that seem abusive to the outside observer.

Using Gottman’s relational frameworks, we will drill down to the fundamentals of human connection as they relate to kink and power exchange relationships. We will challenge the common narratives and turn preconceived notions about abuse inside out. We also will explore how abuse can manifest, how communities and individuals can respond to abuse, and how to promote a culture of transparency and healing both in and out of therapeutic settings.

Participants will leave with a greater understanding of the interpersonal underpinnings of power exchange relationships. They will also learn how to manage clinical countertransference and best serve their client's needs.